The Last Gasp of Traditional Theory in Preservation?

The International Committee on the Theory and Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration (Theophilos) is one of the more active scientific committees in ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites). In the past I was involved the committee’s work, especially in contributing to its 2015 conference proceedings, although I have not been particularly active in the […]

Cultural history vs. cultural significance: Confused local attempts at increasing diversity in the preservation ordinance

Recently, changes to the City of Denver’s Landmark Preservation Ordinance became effective to allow the designation of buildings and places that have “cultural significance.” This change is, in the words of the City, to increase “inclusion” in the landmarking process and “highlight Denver’s diversity.” While the aims of the amended ordinance are eminently laudable (especially […]

Social justice and using heritage values to prioritize climate change decisions

Erin Seekamp (NC State University), Sandra Fatorić (Delft University of Technology), and Allie McCreary (Western Kentucky University) just published “Historic Preservation Priorities for Climate Adaptation” in Ocean and Coastal Management that’s worth a close read. This is one of the only research papers that surveys “experts” and “community groups” to ascertain how their values overlap with climate change priorities […]

Call for Papers: The Haunted South

I received the text, below, from one of the conference session organizers. Delta Symposium XXVI: The Haunted South Call for Papers Location: Jonesboro, AR (USA)Website:AState.edu/delta-symAbstract deadline: December 19, 2019 The Department of English, Philosophy, and World Languages at Arkansas State University opens a call for papers and presentations for the twenty-sixth annual Delta Symposium, April 8-11, 2020 […]

Creating Safe Places for Historic Preservation Practitioners to Think and Innovate

For many years, scholars have been criticizing the practice of historic preservation/built heritage conservation because of its over-reliance on art/historical facts and its reluctance to accommodate a more people-centered approach. To wit, Labrador and Silberman (2018, 5) advocate a new system in which a focus on “how authenticity is perceived [by the public] and what […]

Call for abstracts: The Psychology of Heritage Places

Second call for abstracts — special Collabra: Psychology research nexus Co-editors:Jeremy C. Wells, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, University of Maryland, College Park; jcwells@umd.edu.Daniel J. Levi, Ph.D., Professor, Psychology and Child Development, Cal Poly; dlevi@calpoly.edu.Erica Molinario, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park; molie@umd.edu. Abstract submission deadline: […]

How to “fix” historic preservation

Recently, Patrice Frey, President of the National Main Street Center, wrote a post on Citylab about “Why Historic Preservation Needs a New Approach.” While I very much agree with most of her points, there are many issues (and potential solutions) that she misses. First of all, I wholeheartedly agree with her claim that the field […]